KZN photographer bags international award for underwater sharks pics

KZN photographer bags international award for underwater sharks pics

A KZN local has done us proud by winning a prestigious award for his breathtaking pictures at an event held in Germany. 

Allen Walker / Supplied
Allen Walker / Supplied (Olivia Jones Communications)

South African underwater photographer Allen Walker from Warner Beach bagged the number one spot for the shark photography category at the World ShootOut 2018 awards which was held in Düsseldorf, Germany recently. 

READ: Diver's mask bitten off by a shark!

Walker entered in the underwater photography category, and managed to beat two other photographers to bag the top prize in the Sharks category.

We sat down to Allen following his win to find out more:

Tell us a bit about you and how your passion for photography started

In a rather strange way, I was introduced to photography by a fellow diving friend who convinced me to take his camera on a dive where I was not leading the group or instructing. I did not really like divers with cameras at the time as they always got lost and caused me a lot of headaches trying to find them and/or keep them with the group. Well, that was up and until that day, the tables were turned after that, I became the diver that always got lost with my camera. In life I do not back away from challenges and when I returned from the dive with his camera we reviewed the images and they were all “BB” (Blue and Blurred), it was game on, I bought my first point and shoot camera with a housing and since then I have never looked back, only noted lessons learnt.

Underwater photography became a passion and I actually stopped leading dives and instructing as it was getting in the way of my new found passion. Since then I have been very fortunate to have succeeded in numerous photographic competitions and I have fine-tuned my underwater photography to a level where I now try and push the boundaries to something not done before and be a leading photographer in the UWP world.

My passion for photography has however grown from Underwater Wildlife to Wildlife in general, land or sea and in my mind, the journey has only just started.

The most important thing for me is the fact that my camera keeps it real for me, it grounds me and reminds me of what is important in life. It has also allowed me to meet great people, speak to great people and present to great people, but most importantly, be inspired by them, and hopefully, I inspire others too.

Behind the scenes, I work hard to ensure that conservation issues close to heart are supported in the best way I can. Be this through assistance, imagery, sponsorship, or direct involvement. I do however believe that it is important to address issues on our doorstep first! In this way, we learn and we can then help others address conservation issues in their spheres.

How long have you been a photographer?

Since 2007 and counting. I'm still amateur though and work for a level even though I compete at a professional level.

How many photographers did you compete against at World ShootOut?

Hundreds of photographers from around 40 countries around the world take part in the World ShootOut competition year after year, submitting thousands of images and videos, ranging from those that capture the calm lakes of the Nordic countries and Canada, showcase the exotic secrets hidden in Alaska and introduce the great dramatic white shark in the Gulf of Mexico.

Will you be showcasing your work anywhere? 

I would love to, however, this is very expensive, so if you know of any sponsors who may want to come on board and associate their companies or brand with me, please do let them get in touch! For now, my work can be viewed at and purchased in fine art print at

How do you feel about the accolade?

I am thrilled about having won the shark photography category of the prestigious World ShootOut. It puts South Africa firmly on the world map of underwater photography and will promote tourism to South Africa in the diving industry, more specifically shark diving which has become a very popular activity for underwater divers and photographers from around the world. Aliwal Shoal on the KZN south coast boasts with some of the best shark diving in the world and is definitely a must-visit attraction. I really hope that this will also strengthen South Africa’s resolve to protect these animals for future generations and the tourism industry.

The competition began back in 2005 and has already given away over $1-million in prizes. 

 Check out the majestic pics below:

Shark pic 1 Allen D. Walker
Allen D. Walker
shark pic 3 Allen D. Walker
Allen D. Walker
Shark pic 2 new Allen D. Walker
Allen D. Walker

All images courtesy of Allen D. Walker

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